The Best Color for Your Brand

Studies show that people make a subconscious judgment about a person or product within 90 seconds of viewing it. 60% to 90% of that judgment is based solely on color. As a brand, those 90 seconds are crucial, so in order to capitalize on that, your brand must evoke the appropriate emotion.

Scientifically, colors have a major effect on the brain. Colors work by stimulating a person’s nervous system, which then triggers a hormonal release to create an emotion.  But enough with the science lesson…

Colors can be associated with many things, the most powerful of them being emotions. Colors can even have different meanings simply based on culture, race, gender, and even age. Choosing a color for your brand goes beyond just selecting your favorite color or even two colors that look nice together.  Instead, a company needs to select a color that brings a positive association to the brand. This is what good designers and marketers do—research the color that fits the brand most appropriately.

Let’s take a recognizable brand and dissect their color scheme. Maybe the most recognizable brand of all time? Yep, the golden arches. McDonald’s color scheme and golden arches can be recognized around the world. Their signature yellow and red was no coincidence. Red, known as a very energetic color, is an attention grabbing color. On the other hand, yellow is known as a very warm and positive color. According to studies, yellow sticks out more than any other color (hence the color of taxis, school buses, and even post-its—to grab your attention!). McDonald’s has mastered this. Which is possibly why many other fast food restaurants have chosen similar color schemes (Arby’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Burger King, etc).

Wondering what may be the color best for your brand? Take a look at the infographic below and see for yourself what the best choice may be.

Here at McKnight Kurland, our primary brand color a nice bright shade of orange.  So according to the chart above, this means our image comes across as fun, playful and exuberant. No one can deny how fun and lively we are here at McKnight Kurland! It’s what we’re all about…just ask our team or our clients!  J

After reading the chart, you can also see why blue is one of the most popular colors for brands. Blue, symbolizing trust and security, can establish a loyalty with your targeted audience to create a positive association to your brand. And as you may know, blue is the hands-down most used color in health care.

Keep in mind, as mentioned above, there can be different meanings of colors for different parts of the world. For example, while white is a symbol of purity and innocence here in the United States, in some Eastern cultures white is the symbol of death. So, if you’re an international organization, white may not be your best choice. Do some research and select the perfect color to represent your company.

The brand color palette is an example of just how every detail within your identity can influence perception. Color is certainly a main component of branding, and when used strategically, color can take just 90 seconds to make the right impression.

by Erin Scheck


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